Recently I came to realize that it was costing me a lot of money to keep filling my Jeep Cherokee with gas, like every three to four days. In fact, the last 10 days I know I have spent around $100 in gas just to take my kids to and from school, band practices, doctors appointments, therapy appointments and having to go get medicine.
It was a heart wrenching decision to start looking for a car to drive daily and even more difficult to share the news with my three kids who absolutely adore “Princess.” I got the silent treatment from all three of them ages 14, 10 and 7. Their biggest concern was whether or not I was keeping her.
Of course I am!
I just explained to them that Princess does need to have some maintenance work done on her so we can take her off roading like they have been wanting to do. I even told them that there may be days I may drive Princess especially when there is snow in the forecast.
It has not been an easy time looking for the “right” car. Some I have found with the perfect body yet there is something seriously wrong with the engine or transmission and in one case, the brakes not working. I have been most astounded though at the prices of the cars.
I spent over a week and a half looking at cars locally, in our local trading post paper, newspaper, craigslist (from the local to places 250 miles away) and Ebay. My original budget had been about $1,000 which when I look back at it was a joke. Rarely can you find a vehicle for that price and when you do there are bungee cords holding the doors closed, duct tape on the body, glass missing, key holes with no place to put the key just to name a few things.
Even when I bumped up the price limit to $1,500 I had a friend who visits car auctions often to be looking for certain cars. He warned me that chances are cars in that price range will look like they’ve had a rough life. I will agree!
Then it came to a point after talking with my boyfriend that if I wanted a decent car the way I wanted I would have to ask for some help. I had to break down and ask my grandfather for a little help with my car budget. As hesitant as he was, I believe he was very understanding about my situation with spending money on gas.
After a few days of looking and “watching” cars on Ebay and digging through ads on Craigslist, I finally came across one I “fell in love with.” Yes, I’ll admit I crumble when I see certain cars. I did it with my Jeep Cherokee which I immediately named Princess before the auction had ended…
The best thing about the car I found was that it was where I could get a friend to test drive it for me before making the decision to dive in and bid on it. I had missed the Buy It Now option by probably 12 hours by the time my friend test drove it. But, the most interesting thing about the car is that the guy who was selling it knows my friend from a place he worked at previously! Funny how things can be a small world.
For nearly a week I have been tormented by the whole auction ordeal. I missed the BIN by less than a day, then a potential fraudulent bidder got involved and bumped up the price right to my absolute limit, when, where and how to get the car, then trying to figure out how to get all the money together to pay for the car, just about all took me over the edge.
Actually, it was the final day that made me the craziest. I did my absolute best to keep my mind off the auction by cleaning, doing school work, washing my hair, going to do a few errands. For the most part of two days I figured the auction would end around 3 PM. That was a perfect time since that would be just before I had to go get my boys from school. Ummm, nope not so much. Try 3:50 PM. *Sigh*
Well, I had downloaded the Ebay app recently so that made it a little easier to keep up with the auction. At the same time I had a small auction going that I was selling some sandals I no longer needed. So every once in a while I would get an alert that either the bid price had gone up on the sandals or the car (I’d much rather know the bid price went up on the sandals). I remember sitting in line at my oldest son’s school and would check the final 50 minutes of the auction about every 10-15 minutes. I had estimated that it would end about the time I picked my youngest one up from school.
As it got down to 20 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes and then 5 minutes my heart was racing faster and faster. I thought I was going to pass out before the auction was finished. For a day and a half the highest bid was at $2,400. I just knew at the last minute someone would outbid me (my maximum bid was $2,401.99). Lucky for me I got stuck at the traffic light through two cycles. It was one time I just didn’t care.
I remember looking at my iPhone as it got down to 2 minutes and some odd seconds, 1 minute and then into the seconds. I could feel my heart beating intensely, my hands were shaking profusely. And just as the light changed to green the auction ended.
Now to go get the car, tomorrow….*Sigh* I have no patience to be waiting